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Idaho Murder Suspect Spotted For First Time Since Arrest

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


New photos have been released of Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger for the first time since his arrest last week. Kohberger was seen on Tuesday stepping out of a prisoner transport van outside the courthouse in advance of his extradition hearing.

“Kohberger, 28, wore a red jail-issue jumpsuit and had his hands shackled in front of him, as two law enforcement officials escorted him to the Monroe County Courthouse at about 10:45 a.m. He remained stone-faced as reporters pelted him with questions, ‘Why did you do it?’ At one point the accused mass murderer wore a haunting expression and looked directly at the crowd of photographs and reporters,” Fox News reported.

“The Washington State University Ph.D. student was arrested early Friday for allegedly stabbing to death Kaylee Goncalves, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, and Madison Mogen in the early morning hours of Nov. 13 in an off-campus rental home. Kohberger, who was studying at WSU’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, was transported from the Monroe County Correctional Facility – about 7 miles away – to the courthouse for a 3:30 p.m. extradition hearing,” the outlet added.

Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro on Friday revealed what sources told her led authorities to capture a suspect wanted in the murders of four University of Idaho students at their home several weeks ago. In part, at least, police were able to track down the alleged killer using “genealogical DNA.”

“[M]y sources are telling me that there is genealogical DNA that was established in this case that led the police to this particular suspect,” she said during “The Five” on Friday. “So although that was, according to my sources who are very credible and reliable, …. if you try murder cases and especially murder cases that involve several victims, you understand that really the investigation begins now.”

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Fox News reported further:

Pirro recounted how Idaho authorities said during an afternoon press conference Friday that suspect Bryan Kohberger’s probable cause affidavit will be unsealed after he is successfully extradited from Pennsylvania – where he was captured – to Idaho.

Kohberger was arrested early Friday in a private community near the Pocono Mountains village of Jonas, Pa. He was arraigned before a Monroe County judge and remains in custody.

The suspect was a PhD student in criminal justice/criminology at Washington State University – not far from the University of Idaho – and had previously graduated from DeSales University in Allentown, according to the AP.

During a show segment, Pirro said that investigators now will likely take a deeper dive into Kohlberger’s background.

“The issue is, what did he say? Who did he hang out with? When he was in school did he talk about doing this kind of thing as a criminal justice major? He was interested in what the criminal was thinking when a criminal committed a violent crime. So there are all kinds of additional evidence that will be gathered at this point going forward,” she noted.

“So when you try a murder case, you understand that you are still investigating until your closing statement. And I’ve done it many times now as it relates to genealogical evidence – they literally can get evidence back to the 1800s,” Pirro, who formally served as a Republican district attorney in Westchester County, N.Y., added.

She went on to say that if the suspect has no prior criminal record, then he very likely wouldn’t have gotten any law enforcement hits in the CODIS database, which would lead investigators to then focus more on blood from the crime scene regarding genealogy-related leads.

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“And so, they find out who were the relatives. Once they figure out who the suspect is, they then start to continue to investigate, spread out from Idaho to the car to Pennsylvania. And they populate with historical data,” she said.

“So CODIS can give us that 30 percent solving of cases. But this genealogical DNA can give us a 90 percent chance of solving these cases. So in addition to what will be unequivocal evidence, they’re going to have all kinds of circumstantial evidence in addition to that evidence, which we will see when the affidavit is unsealed,” Pirro said.

WATCH:

Meanwhile, other reports noted that Kohlberger, 28, “once worked in part-time security for the Pleasant Valley School District in Pennsylvania,” according to Heavy.com.

Kaylee GonCalves, 21; Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Madison Mogen, 21, were murdered in their home on November 13.

“These murders have shaken our community, and no arrest will ever bring back these young students,” Moscow Police Chief James Fry said at a press conference on Friday. “However, we do believe justice will be found through the criminal process.”

Bill Thompson, the Latah County prosecutor, said that Kohlberger has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder, along with felony burglary with intent to commit murder.

“This is not the end of the investigation, this is a new beginning,” Thompson said, going on to ask the public to continue sending any information they may have regarding the suspect and the crime.

The Daily Wire noted that because Kohlberger “is in the process of being extradited from Pennsylvania to Idaho, the probable cause affidavit charging the suspect will not be released until he has appeared in an Idaho court, which may take some time.”

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